Nicola's Ristorante

4.8
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2941 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Located just north of Downtown in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati’s hip and historic neighborhood, Nicola’s Ristorante Italiano has long been a fine dining staple of the city during its 20+ years of operation. Owners Nicola and Maureen Pietoso pride their restaurant not only for its highly acclaimed contemporary Italian menu, extensive wine list and variety of unique dining spaces, but most especially for their restaurant’s long-standing reputation for being warmly hospitable and accommodating.
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What 2941 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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N
Jackson Hole
16 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Service and food were both NYC first class experiences. Expensive and worth it ... so fairly priced. And all 4 entrees and appetizers were delicious and very well presented.

G
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 2

One of the best places I have ever eaten, food was outstanding

OT
Columbus
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Outstanding Italian restaurant, which is one Cincinnati's hidden gems in restaurants industry. Best italian food in the Tri-state area.

SA
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pleasantly surprised at this gem of a restaurant! It was our 1st visit and was surprised just how pleasant it was.

TL
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is creative and authentic. This is a gem.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best meals I have ever had!! Amazing!

MR
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I did not know food could taste THIS good. Everything was so so so good. We are not foodies so we couldn’t identify half of what was on the menu, but everything we ordered was incredible.

The 4 cheese gnocchi & the goat cheese salad were our favorites. Do not skip the bread basket either- amazing!

Also our server, Sarahi, made the experience that much better. She was sweet & friendly, knowledgeable about the food & wine pairings, & seemed to genuinely enjoy her job. In short, this meal was worth every penny!

BW
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 1

My wife and I made Anniversary Reservations at this restaurant 48hrs in advance. We arrived 25 minutes early to check in, which we did successfully. However upon check in, the host told us that our table wasn’t ready yet. This is understandable considering we were 25 minutes early. We waited beyond 25 minutes and there were guest who’d came in after us that were seated immediately. Our wait time was 1hr15m including the 35 minute we should’ve waited due to being early. Food was mediocre, price wasn’t too expensive. We did request a bread basket that we never received. Very overrated.

C
Cincinnati
21 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 5

I’ve always loved Nicolas and some of my favorite waiters have worked here over the years, so I was surprised to have three unpleasant interactions the last time I stopped in for a weeknight dinner with my adult kids as my son recently moved in nearby. Was it because we were more casually dressed? The maître d’ , young girl at the register, and the waiter all made us feel unwelcome — ranging from assumptions that we had never been there before to not giving us a wine list and clearing the wine glasses without asking us what we wanted to drink. I guess we will not be reserving the private room for our family celebration of my husband’s upcoming birthday this year as we have in the past. Not what I expect from one of the better restaurants in the city. There are plenty of other options in OTR.

c
Cincinnati
315 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

It was a full house Monday but service was timely and our food was delicious. When you are seated as for the three course menu too. It is a good bargain.

MS
Cincinnati
61 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Favorite restaurant in town. Dinner for 4 Saturday night, brought some out of town guests. Service was a little slower than usual. The restaurant was packed, a special that evening for Blink, we ordered off the regular menu. Everyone raved about the food, service was the only downside but not overly concerning.

RW
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always good with 20 years of being a loyal customer

CB
Pittsburgh
14 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed Blink weekend tasting menu. All dishes were delicious

C
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An utterly amazing dining experience. Blink Cincinnati weekend. We lucked out in finding this gem. The price fix menu offerings were incredible. I thought it would be your typical, maybe more upscale, Italian dining experience. Quite the contrary. It was a delicious and memorable experience for our girl’s night out.

DP
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Great service but the food was disappointing for the price. The gnocchi was extremely oversalted. I would strongly prefer Sotto or primavista for other Italian options.

GM
Cincinnati
6 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful meal and experience as always.

CC
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and great service! I would highly recommend.

OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the evening before heading out to Blink. We especially appreciated the special 3 course meal for $40. Plenty of delicious food and a reasonable price. Our waiter was wonderful. Thank you!

T
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic venue for a celebration. We are already looking forward to our next visit.

OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Really nice restaurant. Food was really good but a bit overpriced. Service excellent.

v
Cincinnati
10 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Where to begin? Well the bread basket was the most beautiful bread basket we have ever seen and totally worth the extra charge. And it tasted as good as it looked! We enjoyed the special Blink 3 course dinners. Our server was very attentive to us and provided very good recommendations and descriptions of the food. We want to go back and experience more of the amazing pastas and entrees. We will definitely be back to Nicola's!

OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

i adore nicola’s, always have. last time i was there my dining companion was delayed and the waiters were so attentive to me. our food was beautiful and delicious - all split by the kitchen for us - and we chose our own pace for a leisurely special meal.

AB
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

The food is good and consistent. If you go on a Monday night, do not expect good, if any service.

a
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time here. Was our anniversary, we both completely enjoyed it. Very impressed. Food and service we're outstanding. Highly recommend it.

BG
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was perfect. Came in for my girlfriends birthday and couldn't have been happier. Had the scallop, the tempura shrimp and the veal to start and it felt like after every bite we were awkwardly leaning back moaning about how good it was. Our server Steven made great wine recommendations and turned us on to the potato gnocchi which is one of the best dishes I've ever had.
I went into the place with high expectations and they completely blew me away.

j
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Great food but when making reservation I mentioned 35th anniversary and our table was next to busing station. Would have thought we would have had a better table.

G
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Server, Megan, was exceptional. We had complex order of sharing several items and she handled all of it with good humor and professionalism. Couple this with one of best kitchens in the city and we had wonderful celebration with friends.

JC
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Most everything was very nice. Service very good, nice place to relax and enjoy a fine meal. The entire meal was great but when the pork loin arrived it looked and tasted like a bbq rib overcooked. I ate two or three bites.
I mentioned my disappointment but no response.
Certainly disappointed with the pork loin with no resolution.

I didn’t want the tip to reflect. I sensed the waiter had his hands tied.

DS
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great place. Every aspect of the experience was excellent. This felt like stepping into a Chicago or New York Italian restaurant because of the ambiance, the staff, the menu and the quality. This was our first time but it won’t be our last.

OT
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful time! I’m a celiac diner and they were easily able to accommodate me and explain what would be safe for me and what wasn’t. Can’t wait to come back again! Everything was phenomenal!

j
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A wonderful evening! Fabulous dinner!! Chef Jack, you did it again! Service was Amazing!

SN
Cincinnati
258 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brad served us extremely well and the food was excellent!

RM
Columbus
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Neither the food nor service was as memorable as previous visits

ET
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was exceptional. The gnocchi is a must have. John and his fellow bartender were very nice and accommodating.

e
Cincinnati
8 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exellent food!!! love this place

OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Delicious meal once again!

F
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I've eaten here a number of times. The food is the best Italian in the city. The service has always been excellent. It is a fine dining experience where most of the patrons dress accordingly. The wine list is interesting and the bartenders know how to make anything we have asked for. It is pricey. Expect to spend around $100 per person with drinks, wine and tip.

D
Cincinnati
12 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fixed price Restaurant Week combined great food with good value

R
Cincinnati
9 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We went to Nicola's for restaurant week and their menu was fabulous. We tried one of everything and we love that the three courses did not include dessert but rather a lovely salad course, pasta course and entree. We will definitely be back!

A
Cincinnati
7 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, the gnocchi was sublime. Actually the entire meal was perfectly prepared, served and enjoyed. Going during restaurant week made it even more delightful. This is a wonderful, reliably excellent restaurant.

Tweets by Nicola's Ristorante